I logged onto my Facebook account and on the right side of my home page under “Suggestions” it said – Farmville Addiction Club – Jane Doe (my friend) is a Fan – Become a Fan. When I saw this, I thought to myself REALLY? Farmville? an addiction?
This intrigued me as I’m very familiar with addiction and how it not only affects the life of the addict, but so many others in the addicts life. So, I decided to do a little research. Here’s what I found.
1. Farmville is a web based game that is played exclusively through Facebook.
2. It was launched in June 2009 by a company called Zynga.
3. Current monthly users are just over 82 MILLION
WOW! Farmville has mushroomed in such a short period of time, I am AMAZED! What a great idea the founder had, I’m sure he and his investors are thrilled with the results of the income this simple game generates. I don’t get news feeds about Farmville on my home page, thanks to the “Hide” option that Facebook offers, but I’m thinking that with all the users out there…….a lot of my “friends” are playing and having fun.
Going back to what prompted me to look into Farmville a little more, I came across this heart breaking post on the internet written by a child:
“My mom’s addicted. It’s not fun. She’s always playing and gets slightly rude about it. She seriously needs help. Farm Ville is ruining my mom and while she spends her time on FARM VILLE she COULD have been helping me write, but she apparently thinks that taking care of a farm on the internet is more important than helping her daughter do the dishes, or help her with homework. There should be a real Farm Ville addict group. I think my mom seriously needs help…”
This is what often happens when people are addicted and can not moderate. They lose sight of things that are REALLY important and lives are affected.
There are so many things in this world that in them selves are just fine. Exercise, Work, A glass of wine, Eating, texting, Playing Cards, Farmville, Shopping, Facebooking etc. Are any of these bad? My answer is NO. BUT, for some, when any of these things are “exercised” too frequently – when someone becomes obsessed – consumed – and starts to re-arrange their life around one or more of these things – my answer would be YES. There is a problem. The problem does NOT lie with the “thing” but the problem, I believe, stems from the inside of the person, an unhealthiness from within. What I’ve found based on my own personal experience is that addictions happen when there is something missing in our lives and we use “things” to fill the void.
I know that we all go through phases or seasons in our lives where we are doing particular things or actives more than “normal” for a specific reason. A few examples are: Working longer hours than normal on a big project to meet an important deadline. Training for a road race which requires several months of focused training to prepare the body for the race so you’re taking more time to run. Maybe you got a new piece of software on your computer and you’re really wanting to learn how to use it effectively so you’re spending more time than usual on your computer. Of course we can all relate to these types of scenarios.
I’m not writing this to condemn or judge what others are doing. I’m simply wanting to prompt you, the reader to ask yourself the simple question, “How am I doing keeping everything in moderation in my life?” If others around you are concerned about recent behaviors, carefully consider why you’re doing what you’re doing. Is this a “season” you’re going through? or are you possibly “escaping” into whatever the thing is to fill a void?